Price gouging – what you should know

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Price tag on toilet paper
An example of price gouging occurs when prices are raised more than 10% for essential goods, such as toilet paper. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
As the coronavirus sweeps across the nation and the world, so does unscrupulous profiteering by some businesses, representing a clear violation of the public trust. Taking advantage of consumers during a crisis is nothing new. Even in ancient times, governments combated price gouging, profiteering and price discrimination by passing laws to protect their citizens against dishonest sellers. Price gouging was and still is considered exploitative and unethical. Price gouging is illegal in California and occurs when a person or business takes advantage of buyers by raising prices more than 10% for essential goods or services during a declared state of emergency. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency statewide March 4, putting price gouging laws into effect. Essent
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